Overlaying ACKS economics and endgame on other games

I’ve been surely tempted to give Dungeon Crawl Classics a try.

DCC, oddly, has no treasure tables, and directs the reader towards the TSR D&D or OSR derivative of his or her preference to roll for treasure. This strikes me as an unusual attitude for an OSR game, but it did present an opportunity.

I obviously decided to use the ACKS treasure tables. These tables include mercantile goods and it occurred to me that I might have to plus in the city market classes and the trade subsystem. Which made me think, well, if I’m transplanting the whole ACKS economy maybe I can throw in the whole endgame! Strongholds, hideouts, domain management, magical experimentation, the whole shebang.

“Why not just play ACKS?” Excellent question, and one that I ask myself every time I’m gearing up to run anything D&Desque. The only answer I can think of is “because I want to try a new game.” That’s why I’m running OD&D now, and that’s why I might run DCC next. I want to try DCC’s very peculiar take on magic, in particular. Also, have you looked at the titles and covers of their adventure modules? Even the holiday special adventure looks awesome! Not even Star Wars got to pull that off.

Does anyone see anything that could go wrong here? Any potential pitfalls I should be aware of? All input appreciated.

I haven’t spent enough time with DCC to know how well or easily ACKS will port over. But ACKS is built from the ground-up based on real-world ancient and medieval economics, so therefore it ought to work in any game that has a plausibly historical economy.

In order to convert:

  1. You’ll want to know “what is the approximate value of a DCC silver piece relative to historical currencies”. In ACKS, one silver piece is about the equivalent of one silver penny in 13th century England. Alternatively you could simply replace all prices in DCC with ACKS prices.

  2. You’ll need to work out the demographics of DCC leveling and compare to the demographics of ACKS leveling. For instance, about 1 in 10 Million people are 14th level in ACKS. If only 1 in 10 Million people are 10th level in DCC, then DCC empires should be ruled by 10th level characters, not 14th level characters.

I was thinking of porting over the ACKS prices list wholesale.

I hadn’t thought about the level demographics, though. But I feel equating DCC level 10 to ACKS level 14 and working from there is a safe bet.

Small update.

I’ve plotted the ACKS (p. 235) and DCC (p. 359) demographics on an Excel graph and here’s what I have to say.

  1. Fuck Excel.

  2. They’re not very easily compatible. They start diverging at level 1 and there are only a few “touching points” of direct equivalency. To wit:
    ACKS level 2 = DCC level 1 (1/50)
    ACKS level 5 = DCC level 3 (1/1,000)
    ACKS level 14 = DCC level 9 (1/10,000,000)

  3. Seriously, fuck Excel. And fuck Imgur too for acting up when I saved this chart as an image file. I’ll try again later.

How do you feel this “incompatibility” will impact the endgame, and what corrective measures (if any) should be taken to address it?

Here’s the graph, BTW: http://imgur.com/LhBZ0XL

I don’t know where DCC drew its demographics from. I worry that they may have arbitrarily determined that 9th level was 1 in 10 Million without the math and economy supporting that outcome.

The demographics of ACKS characters were calculated by finding the average XP to increase per level versus the average wealth in the society using a pyramidal distribution of wealth. Long story short, regardless of what LEVEL they are, DCC characters of XP “A” should be as rare as ACKS characters of XP “A” if you are using XP for Gold.

If you aren’t using XP for Gold, I’m not sure how to help you…

ACKS and DCC aren’t compatible on that level. DCC awards from 0 to 4 XP per “encounter”, based on GM fiat. Level 0 is 0-9 XP, level 1 is 10-49, and so on up to 1090+ XP being level 10. Gold doesn’t figure into it at all.

Holy cow, you guys are right. I didn’t even look into the DCC XP charts before that! They don’t use XP for GP.

Well, I’m labeling this a failed experiment. I’ll stick to ACKS and run something else with DCC.